Sunayana Kuruvilla took a game off defending champion Joshana Chinappa in the women’s singles final. Abhishek Pradhan made top seed Mahesh Mangaonkar work for points in the men’s title clash. The favourites could not be denied their due at the MSRA 76th Senior National Squash Championship, staged in all-glass court set up on the Amanora Mall lawn. Actor Jackie Shroff gave away the prizes.
Joshana’s wristy winners and smooth movements eased the way to a 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5 win, her 17th National crown, bettering Bhuvaneshwari Kumari’s 16 triumphs. “The new crop of young players are promising and need exposure on the PSA circuit,” said the women’s champion. Armed with reach and strokes, Mangaonkar quelled a spirited Abhishek Pradhan 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 in the men’s final.
The tournament was conducted by Maharashtra Squash Racquets Association, under the aegis of SRFI. Devendranath Sarangi, national federation president, also handed out awards. The final matches to decide India’s best female and male player drew a curious crowd of sports enthusiasts and families out for weekend shopping.
Both national champions were in demand for selfies and autographs after their sporting achievements were announced over the public address system. Joshana is ranked 13 among world women pros. Mangaonkar is placed 53rd among men on the PSA rankings list.